Simple Garden Projects With Your Children

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Children love helping in the garden and seeing the fruits of their work. Combine that experience with a craft or several garden projects and you’ve got fun memories to last a lifetime.

Herb crafts make fun activities for getting started in the garden. Make toys to expand their imagination, gifts for friends and crafts for the family to enjoy, or keepsakes that can last a lifetime.

1. Herbs are easy-to-grow

Most herbs require little maintenance beyond sun and water. Fragrant varieties such as basil, lavender, mint, nasturtium, oregano, parsley and thyme are all fun herbs. These herbs offer a bonus kids will enjoy. They can watch the growth of the individual herbs and enjoy the different fragrances. Buy healthy plants that are well established in their containers.

2. Make an herb planter

A window box planter 15-inch to 20-inch wide is a good starter project. Plastic ones are inexpensive and available at most home centers, in several colors, for under $5.00. Help the kids make the herb selection; plants in 3-inch or 4-inch pots are inexpensive.

Place the planter in a sunny location. Cover the drain holes with pieces of terracotta or small stones to prevent the soil from washing away.

Fill the planter half way with potting soil and arrange the herbs in the planting box. Planter boxes look best with an odd number of plants (3, 5, 7 and so on). Fill the rest of the planter box within 1-inch of the top with potting soil, gently compress the soil to remove any air pockets around the roots and water thoroughly. After the plants are established, feed once with a balanced fertilizer.

3. Painted herb gift pots

Plain red clay pots make a wonderful gift for friends and family when painted in fun bright colors. Use acrylic artist paints; they’re water soluble and easy to clean up. Choose bright primary colors, add white for the undercoat.

Apply an undercoat half way down the inside of each pot to hide the red clay. Paint the outside of each pot and allow the paint to dry. Apply the base color to the pot and allow the paint to completely dry.

Several ideas kids will enjoy are bold stripes, round dots, plant shapes, the child’s name or handprint. Draw the design around the outside with a soft pencil. Apply decorations in any contrasting color. Use a small brush to fill in the design. Coat the pot with a coat of water-based acrylic varnish to protect it.

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4. Lavender fantasy wands

Fantasy wands are a magical herb craft that can provide hours of fun and imagination for children of all ages. The basic materials are lavender flowers, brightly colored ribbon and a stick for the handle.

Start with 11 to 15 lavender flowers with 12-inch long stems. Cut a length of ribbon several yards long. For the handle, choose a short length of ¼-inch dowel, a thin piece of garden bamboo or my favorite a 12-inch long apple twig. Apple twigs make each wand unique.

Secure the lavender flowers to the handle, with a short string or ribbon, just below the flower heads. Stems should extend off the top of the handle. Gently bend the flower stems around the flower heads and evenly space the stems around the handle. Weave the ribbon in and out of the stems; one stem over one stem under. Continue toward the bottom of the wand and tie off with a bow. Add additional ribbons in contrasting colors.

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